Nightly Opera Streams, September 7–13
The elegance and emotion of French opera takes center stage in this week of Nightly Opera Streams, featuring seven pillars of the French repertoire. Explore the articles and resources below to expand your knowledge and enhance your experience as you enjoy the free streams. A full schedule for the week is available at the bottom of this page.
Met Stars Live in Concert: If you enjoy the Nightly Opera Streams, be sure not to miss our acclaimed pay-per-view concert series, presenting opera’s greatest stars performing live via satellite from striking locations across Europe and the U.S. The next concert features Anna Netrebko, live on October 10.
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Dive into seven French operatic masterpieces—including popular favorites by Massenet, Gounod, Berlioz, and Bizet—with this guide to the week.
View the Playbills from the original performance dates for each stream, including synopses, program notes, and more.
Stephanie Blythe Discusses Cendrillon
Last spring mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe joined Executive Stage Director Paula Suozzi and Assistant Director Peter McClintock for a virtual conversation about Cendrillon and took questions about the opera from students.
French Opera at the Met
Drawn from every era of operatic composition, from the Baroque to the modern day, a wide array of enthralling French works have appeared on the Met stage.
Director Laurent Pelly discusses his Impressionism-inspired, Belle-Époque setting for Massenet’s Manon, in which the seductive and naive heroine is seen as a threat by the world of men—one who must be sacrificed.
In this excerpt from the final act of Les Troyens, Berlioz’s monumental adaptation of Virgil’s Aeneid, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham is the tragic Dido, abandoned by Aeneas and haunted by visions as she plans her own death.
Dive into Les Pêcheurs de Perles
Penny Woolcock’s spectacular production of Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, which premiered in 2015, enlisted projection designers and acrobats to conjure the opera’s evocative aquatic setting. Learn more about the stunning diving sequences in this behind-the-scenes video.
The Trojan Women
Director Francesco Zambello and stars Susan Graham and Deborah Voigt discuss the 2012 revival of Berlioz’s Les Troyens, in which powerful women dominate the action.
From the Archives: Werther at the Met
Massenet’s sensuous Goethe adaptation has had an unsteady place in the repertory at the Met, as elsewhere, but has enjoyed periods of great success when brought to life by glamorous singing and stylish interpretations.
Manon: In Focus
A beautiful ingénue with a taste for the finer things makes her way to Paris, where she becomes irresistible to the men around her—including the passionate Chevalier des Grieux, whose all-consuming love for her leads to ruin. Learn more about Massenet’s Manon with our In Focus podcast.
No Ordinary Love
Shakespeare by way of Gounod makes for a decadent, action-packed, and transcendent Roméo et Juliette, says Bartlett Sher. During the 2016–17 season, the Tony Award–winning director unveiled a new production of this sumptuous French opera.
Before the 2008 premiere of his production of La Damnation de Faust, the visionary director Robert Lepage discussed his approach to staging Berlioz’s grand “dramatic legend.”
Diana Damrau, who starred as Leïla in the 2015 premiere of Penny Woolcock’s production of Les Pêcheurs de Perles, explains why Bizet’s heroine is stronger than she seems.
Holding onto Hope
Celebrated mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, who stars in Massenet’s Cendrillon, explains how this French take on the Cinderella story sparks joy in Laurent Pelly’s storybook production.
Poetry in Motion
Based on Goethe’s novel, Werther tells of a tortured poet’s unhappy infatuation with a married woman. In this 2014 video, director Richard Eyre describes his effort to capture the poetry, impassioned drama, and “autumnal feel” of Massenet's gripping score.
A Tribute to Marcello Giordani
Marcello Giordani, who passed away in October 2019 and is featured in this week’s stream of Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust, was one of the Met’s brightest star tenors in recent decades.
Songs of the Sea
Bizet’s melody-rich Les Pêcheurs de Perles returned to the Met repertory for the first time in 100 years during the 2015–16 season, in a sumptuous production by Penny Woolcock.
Cendrillon Illustrated Synopsis
Follow along with this week’s stream of Cendrillon with a graphic-novel version of the synopsis—perfect for young opera lovers.
Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at the Met
From an early vogue in the 1890s to a revival of popularity in recent decades, learn about the Met history of Gounod’s soaring Shakespeare adaptation.
Tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who starred in the title role of Richard Eyre’s 2014 production of Werther, explains why Massenet and Goethe are such a good fit.
Love and Money
In Laurent Pelly’s 2012 production of Manon, soprano Anna Netrebko explored the extremes of Massenet’s irresistible heroine.
The Stuff of Legend
Goethe’s seminal Faust has inspired a number of operatic masterpieces, including Berlioz’s towering La Damnation de Faust, which reappeared on the Met stage in 2008 after more than a century.
Each stream becomes available at 7:30PM ET and remains accessible for on-demand viewing until 6:30PM ET the following day, with the exception of the September 11 stream of Les Pêcheurs de Perles, which will be available until September 12 at 12PM ET. The September 12 stream of Les Troyens will begin at the normally scheduled 7:30PM ET.
Week 26 (French Week)
Monday, September 7
Starring Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała, Paulo Szot, and David Pittsinger, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From April 7, 2012.
Tuesday, September 8
Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette
Starring Diana Damrau, Vittorio Grigolo, Elliot Madore, and Mikhail Petrenko, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. From January 21, 2017.
Wednesday, September 9
Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust
Starring Susan Graham, Marcello Giordani, and John Relyea, conducted by James Levine. From November 22, 2008.
Thursday, September 10
Starring Kathleen Kim, Joyce DiDonato, Alice Coote, Stephanie Blythe, and Laurent Naouri, conducted by Bertrand de Billy. From April 28, 2018.
Friday, September 11
Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles
Starring Diana Damrau, Matthew Polenzani, Mariusz Kwiecień, and Nicolas Testé, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda. From January 16, 2016.
Saturday, September 12
Berlioz’s Les Troyens
Starring Deborah Voigt, Susan Graham, Karen Cargill, Bryan Hymel, Eric Cutler, Dwayne Croft, and Kwangchul Youn, conducted by Fabio Luisi. From January 5, 2013.
Sunday, September 13
Starring Lisette Oropesa, Sophie Koch, Jonas Kaufmann, David Bižić, and Jonathan Summers, conducted by Alain Altinoglu. From March 15, 2014.